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Guillaume Couture


Guillaume Couture, the ancestor of the Lamonde family, was born in Rouen, Normandy (France) on the 14th January 1618. Son of a master carpenter, he became a joiner. 

Around the age of 19, he emigrated to New France to serve the Jesuit fathers as a lay auxiliary. On the shores of the Georgian Bay (Ontario), he helped the Jesuits to settle a mission ministering to the Huron people.

In August of 1642, while sailing back from Quebec City to the mission with a group of forty persons, Iroquois warriors attached the party. Twenty-two Frenchmen and Hurons were taken prisoners, among whom Father Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil and Guillaume. During thirteen days, they were dragged from village to village and suffered the worst tortures. Of frail health, Rene Goupil could not resist the numerous hatchet blows. Guillaume Couture was finally sent to a Mohawk village near Fort Orange (Albany). Father Jogues later succeeded in escaping with the complicity of Dutch people.

Guillaume’s captivity lasted three years which he took advantage of to learn the Iroquois language and customs. It is related that the Iroquois tribe came to appreciate him, counting him as one of their own, and he was even admitted, on account of his wisdom, to sit in the Council of the nation.

In July 1645, Guillaume participated in diplomatic discussions at Three Rivers between the Iroquois and Governor Montmagny, which lead to an official peace treaty between the French, and the Indian nations. Soon later, Guillaume asked to be released from his engagement with the Jesuits fathers, as it was accepted. In 1647, he was granted a land at Pointe-Levy, opposite Quebec City. He became the first inhabitant colonizer of the south shore of the Saint-Lawrence River.

In 1649, he married Anne Aymard, native of Niort in the Poitou region of France. For many years, Guillaume devotes his energies to reclaiming his land and improves his home and possessions. The couple will raise ten children, four daughters and six sons, who later founded their own families.

Because of his wide knowledge of the country an of Indian languages, and also his experience of travelling, Guillaume was often asked to lead or to participate in missions and expeditions, mainly amongst the people of the northerner territories, as far as the Bay o Hudson.

Guillaume Couture was well respected in his entourage; he exerted public offices as seneschal judge and militia officer in the Seigniory of Lauzon.

Guillaume died at the Hotel-Dieu hospital in Quebec on the 4th of April 1701. Anne, his wife, was buried in Pointe-Levy on January 1700.

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des familles Lamonde